Altoona veteran featured in new World War II book

Former Altoona native, Air Force Lieutenant General Richard E. Nugent, has been featured in the recently released book “Heroes of WWII: Richard E. Nugent, the 1st Batallion Fighter Squadron, and 209 Others” by T. Dennis Reece.

The book “relates the life histories of more than 209 WWII veterans who served in various land or air units and won at least one award for heroism, ranging from the Distinguished Service Cross to the Soldier’s Medal,” according to a press release. Using several sources, these accomplishments are presented in detail.

“Nugent was born in 1902, the son of a dentist and grandson of a Civil War lieutenant in Company D, 78th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry,” the release explains.

He grew up at 1200 17th Ave. and after attending Altoona High School he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1924.

During World War II he commanded the XXIX Tactical Air Command, which gave air support to General William H. Simpson’s Ninth Army as it fought from the Siegfried Line to within 53 miles of Berlin.

After the war, working in the Pentagon on personnel matters, he was instrumental in creating the racial integration plan for the USAF. He retired in 1951 and died at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida in 1979.

Reece is a retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer who served in Brazil, the Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, Guyana, and Washington, D.C. He earned a B.A. from Valparaiso University and an M.A. from Purdue University. His previously published works are on bomb disposal from 1942 to 1946 and the Ohio River flood of 1884. He currently resides in Florida.

Visit www.hellgatepress.com for more information and to purchase the book.